New Music Monday – 22nd July

Harely Mavis
Image Courtesy of Harley Mavis

Big Sky Mountain – “Cover My Tracks”

The latest single from seven-piece, Sydney-based alt-country and Americana band Big Sky Mountain is the rollicking “Cover My Tracks”. I love how this track just drives forward with the rhythmic chug drums, bass and ukulele while still showcasing the band’s beautiful harmonies and diverse instrumentation – the subtle trumpet parts throughout the song are spot on.

Big Sky Mountain have a bunch of gigs coming up – the full list is here:

Friday 26th July – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW
Friday 9th August – Club Willoughby, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 14th September – Crack ‘N’ Jack Spring Music Festival, Port Stephens, NSW
Saturday 19th Octover – Fusion Multicultural Street Festival, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Devendra Banhart – “Abre Las Manos”

Freak folk pioneer Devendra Banhart has just given us a taste of his upcoming album Ma (due on the 13th September) with the latin inspired track “Abre Las Manos”. Sung entirely in Spanish, “Abre Las Manos” was inspired by Banhart’s motherland, Venezuela with the title translating to “Open Your Hands”. In typical Devendra Banhart style the song takes traditional musical forms and plays with them, adding a trippy, ethereal feel to the song.

“My brother is in Venezuela, my cousins, my aunts and uncles,” Devendra Banhart explained. “They are just holding their breath, in gridlock standstill. Maybe there is more Spanish writing on Ma because of the helplessness I’m feeling, it’s on my mind more than ever. I was thinking about the sorrow of having to put a child up for adoption, loving that child but not being with them, for whatever reason. That child is out in the world and you have to love them from afar. And that is exactly how I have felt observing the situation in Venezuela. There’s this helplessness, this place that has been a mother to you, that you’re a mother to as well, and it’s suffering so much. There is nothing you can do but send out love and remain in that sorrowful state.”

Harley Mavis – “Thief”

Sydney based alt-folk artist Harley Mavis (who previously performed under the name Hannah Robinson) is channeling her inner Stevie Nicks for her latest single “Thief”. The folk rock song combines Harley Mavis’ big voice with a cracking band that really drives the pace forward.

“”Thief” is a reflection of being in a really emotionally manipulative relationship and constantly feeling like that person has a hold on you regardless of having broken up,” Harley Mavis explained. “It’s a song that really encapsulates my mental health at that time in my life.”

Hein Cooper – “Invincible”

From it’s atmospheric opening right through to its huge crescendo, “Invincible” from singer-songwriter Hein Cooper is a beautiful piece of work. The single, which also has a power, cinematic video, once agains demonstrates just what a talent Cooper is.

If you want to catch Hein Cooper live there’s a bunch of dates in August supported by Leonie Kingdom:

Saturday 3rd August – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Thursday 8th August – Cambridge Warehouse, Newcastle, NSW
Friday 9th August – Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 10th August – The Basement, Canberra, ACT
Friday 16th August – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 17th August – Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff, NSW
Friday 23rd August – Mojo’s, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 24th August – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 25th August – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Thursday 29th August – Grace Emily Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 30th August – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Joe Man Murphy – “The Old Pine Tree”

Irish born, Australian based singer-songwriter (and one quarter of Adelaide band The Timbers) Joe Man Murphy has released his brand new single “The Old Pine Tree”. The track has an expansive sound typical of Australian folk music with some Mark Knopfler-esque electric guitar that helps to elevate Murphy’s songwriting. The video for “The Old Pine Tree” combines Joe Man Murphy’s music with his other passion of visual art.

Joe Pug – “The Flood in Color”

Joe Pug’s highly anticipated new album The Flood in Color landed last week and it’s truly magical. Pug also released the lead single which sees the songwriter at his best – guitar, harmonica and a simple backing band to highlight his stunning lyrics. Pug’s songwriting economy is really a true talent – here’s a song that is under 3 minutes long and lyrically sparse but is still able to convey so much emotion.

Karine Polwart – “Chance”

Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart releases her tribute to Scottish pop, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook, on the 2nd August and everything we’ve heard so far from it has been really interesting. Here Polwart reinterprets Big Country’s classic track “Chance”, stripping it back to its core with really beautiful instrumentation including flutes and glockenspiel.

The Brother Brothers feat. Sarah Jarosz, Jeff Picker – “Colorado”

I love this. Folk duo The Brother Brothers have teamed with singer and guitarist Sarah Jarosz and bassist Jeff Picker for the gorgeous new single “Colorado”. Sitting somewhere between the songwriting of Paul Simon and the vocal delivery of Dylan in his quieter moments, the song has everything you want from modern folk music.

Wallis Bird – “Salve!”

“Salve!” is the latest taster of the upcoming album Woman from Irish singer-songwriter Wallis Bird. The soul and funk of “Salve!” is a whole lot of fun, and will immediately have you up and dancing – such a fun track. Woman is due for release on the 27th September.

Witches Leap – “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”

Blue Mountains based trio Witches Leap provide one of first instrumental tracks for New Music Monday with their reels “Mountain Road / Rocky Road to Megalong”. The combination of flute, pipes and guitar evokes a magical landscape that could be Ireland or could also be the wilderness of the Mountains – and the video compliments this perfectly.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 10th May

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Our latest New Music Monday featured new streams and videos from the likes of Chance McCoy, Fanny Lumsden, Fred Smith, Joy Williams, Justin Townes Earle, Karine Polwart, Kay Proudlove, Matt Ward and Mumford and Sons with Jerry Douglas. Listen and watch them here

– The first Bluegrass & Old Timey Festival featuring Richard Galluzzi, Flat Rock Boys, The Plough, Whoa Mule and Shelley’s Murder Boys is hitting Sydney next week. Details here

Releases This Week

Hell or Heal
Hell or HealAlice Night
Bandcamp

Dawn Landes
My Tiny TwilightDawn Landes
iTunes

Lowland Hum
GlyphonicLowland Hum
iTunes
Bandcamp

Matthew and the Atlas
Morning DancerMatthew and the Atlas
iTunes

Tobias Hengeveld
Naughts & OnesTobias Hengeveld
iTunes
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

The Teskey Brothers

The Teskey Brothers

Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th May – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 13th May – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 14th May – The Night Cat, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 16th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

19-Twenty
Friday 10th May – Murrah Hall, Murrah, NSW
Saturday 11th May – Tomerong Hall, Tomerong, NSW

Áine Tyrrell
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC
Saturday 11th May – St Brigids, Crossley, VIC
Sunday 12th May – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC

Aisling Vaughan & Friends
Friday 10th May – The Gaelic Club, Sydney, NSW

Alice Night
Sunday 12th May – Longplay, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 16th May – The Red Rattler, Sydney, NSW

An Acoustic Tribute to Bruce Springsteen feat. Luke Yeoward, Ruby Gilbert, Brad Butcher
Saturday 11th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Anna Smyrk
Friday 10th May – Dusty Attic, Lismore, NSW

Archer
Saturday 11th May – Major Toms, Kyneton, VIC

Ash Grunwald
Saturday 11th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Ben Mastwyk
Friday 10th May – Coburg RSL, Coburg, VIC

Big Country Festival
Saturday 11th May – Berry Showgrounds, Berry, NSW

Blues on Broadbeach
Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th May – Broadbeach, QLD

Bulga Beats Festival
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May – Bulga, NSW

Bush Gothic
Saturday 11th May – Jazzlab, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th May – Butcher’s Brew, Sydney, NSW

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 10th May – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th May – Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD

Caitlin Harnett & The Pony Boys
Thursday 16th May – The Landsdowne, Sydney, NSW

Claire Anne Taylor
Friday 10th May – Pomonal Community Hall, Pomonal, VIC
Saturday 11th May – St Brigids, Crossley, VIC
Sunday 12th May – Caravan Music Club, Bentleigh East, VIC

Colin Lillie
Friday 10th May – The Royal Hotel, Queenbeyan, NSW
Saturday 11th May – The Royal Hotel, Queenbeyan, NSW

Dan Sultan
Friday 10th May – The Conservatorium, Newcastle, NSW

Daniel Champagne
Friday 10th May – Town Hall, Deans Marsh, VIC
Saturday 11th May – Baby Black, Bacchus Marsh, VIC
Sunday 12th May – Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 15th May – Jindy Sessions, Jindabyne, VIC
Thursday 16th May – Smokey Horse, Braidwood, NSW
Friday 17th May – Smiths, Canberra, ACT

Dean Lewis w/ Winterbourne
Saturday 11th May – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 12th May – The Tivoli, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday 14th May – Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA
Wednesday 15th May – HBF Stadium, Perth, WA
Friday 17th May – The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Dearly Departed
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May – Bulga Beats Festival, Bulga, NSW

Dr Coocachoo
Saturday 11th May – Flat Rock Brew Cafe, Sydney, NSW

Echo Deer, C.J Shaw, Hollie Matthew
Saturday 11th May – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Felicity Urquhart & Brad Butcher
Thursday 16th May – Merri Creek Tavern, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th May – House Concert, Torquay, VIC

Flats and Sharps
Wednesday 15th May – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 16th May – The Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW
Friday 17th May – The Metropole Guesthouse, Katoomba, NSW

FolkSwagon feat. Brain Romance, Brian Campeau, Kay Proudlove
Wednesday 15th May – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 10th May – House Concert, Boreen Point, QLD
Saturday 11th May – House Concert, Byron Bay, NSW
Sunday 12th May – Brothers Café, Kingscliff, NSW

Green Mohairs Suits
Sunday 12th May – The Black Sheep, Sydney, NSW

Grigoryan Brothers
Friday 10th May – St Peter’s Anglican College, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 11th May – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Hannah Acfield w/ Berniece Peeauake
Saturday 11th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Honky Tonkin’ feat. King Arthur
Thursday 16th May – The Rook’s Return, Melbourne, VIC

Huckleberry Hastings
Friday 10th May – Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday 14th May – In The Round, The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Hussy Hicks
Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th May – Blues on Broadbeach, Broadbeach, QLD

In The Round feat. Huck Hastings, Charlie Gradon, Ainsley Farrell, Rita B
Tuesday 14th May – In The Round, The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW

Jake and Jaden
Friday 17th May – Ryan’s Hotel, Thirroul, NSW

James Bennett
Friday 10th May – Gunnedah Hotel, Gunnedah, NSW
Saturday 11th May – The Tamworth Hotel, Tamworth, NSW
Sunday 12th May – Tatts Hotel, Inverell, NSW

Jason Owen
Sunday 12th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 12th May – Lizotte’s, Newcastle, NSW

Kallidad
Friday 10th May – Magnums Hotel, Airlie Beach, QLD
Saturday 11th May – Picnic Bay Hotel, Picnic Bay, QLD
Sunday 12th May – Gilligan’s Hotel and Resort, Cairns, QLD
Friday 17th May – Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD

Kyle Lionhart
Friday 17th May – Soundlounge, Currumbin, QLD

Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes w/ Ben Leece
Friday 17th May – Junk Bar, Brisbane, QLD

Little Quirks
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th May – Central Coast Comicon, The Entertainment Grounds, Gosford, NSW

Mandy Connell
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Mark Wilkinson
Friday 10th May – Soundlounge, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 11th May – The Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD

Merry Muse feat. Ichoyennisi
Sunday 12th May – Canberra Irish Club, Canberra, ACT

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Friday 10th May – Banyena Town Hall, Banyena, VIC
Saturday 11th May – Cabaret Club, Ballarat, VIC

Montgomery Church
Saturday 11th May – Brungle Memorial Hall, Brungle, NSW

Natalie Henry
Friday 10th May – Flow Bar, Old Bar, NSW
Saturday 11th May – Dusty Attic Music Lounge, Lismore, NSW

Nathan Power, Mandy Connell
Friday 10th May – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Nicefest 2019
Saturday 11th May – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Red Hillbilly Hoe-down feat. Slim Dime, Teresa Dixon
Saturday 11th May – Red Hill Mechanics Hall, Red Hill, VIC

Riley Pearce
Friday 10th May – Secret Show, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 12th May – Secret Show, Adelaide, SA
Friday 17th May – Secret Show, Perth, WA

Ro
Friday 17th May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Ruby Gilbert
Saturday 11th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th May – Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD
Sunday 12th May – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane, QLD

Ruby Gill
Friday 10th May – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Russell Morris
Friday 10th May – Paddington RSL, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th May – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday 12th May – Toronto Hotel, Toronto, NSW
Thursday 16th May – Bunbury Entertainment Centre, Bunbury, WA
Friday 17th May – Perth Concert Hall, Perth, WA

Sara Storer
Friday 10th May – Hamilton Hotel, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th May – Caloundra RSL Club, Caloundra, QLD
Thursday 16th May – Southern Cross Club, Canberra, ACT
Friday 17th May – Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW

Sea Shanty Session
Wednesday 15th May – The Brother’s Public House, Melbourne, VIC

Strings on King Bluegrass Night feat. The Methylated Chicken Collective
Tuesday 14th May – MoshPit, Sydney, NSW

Sun Kil Moon
Wednesday 15th May – The Espy, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 17th May – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

The Blues Tram feat. Lily & King, Alister Turrill
Saturday 11th May – The Blues Tram, Bendigo, VIC

The BUg Weekly Tues New Farm Folk Night feat. Sue Wighton and the Margaritas, Tin Star
Tuesday 14th May – New Farm Bowls Club, Brisbane, QLD

The Emerald Ruby
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May – Bulga Beats Festival, Bulga, NSW

The Hillbilly Goats
Friday 10th May – The Surf Club Palm Cove, Cairns, QLD

The Long Johns
Friday 10th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 11th May – Hawkers Beer, Melbourne, VIC

The Maes
Friday 10th May – The Vanguard, Sydney, NSW
Friday 17th May – Wauchope Community Hall, Wauchope, NSW

The Ocelots
Friday 10th May – Duke of George, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 11th May – The Sewing Room, Perth, WA
Thursday 16th May – NOLA Craft Beer & Whiskey, Adelaide, SA
Friday 17th May – Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

The Pantry Sessions feat. The Weeping Willows, Ryan Daykin
Saturday 11th May – The Kitchen Door, Barjarg, VIC

The Plough
Friday 17th May – Plantbased Wholefoods, Katoomba, NSW

The Pigs
Friday 10th May – Brass Monkey, Cronulla, NSW

The Royal High Jinx
Friday 17th May – The Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne, VIC

The Settlement
Friday 17th May – Seanchai Irish Pub, Warrnambool, VIC

The Teskey Brothers
Friday 10th May – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 11th May – Howler, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 13th May – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 14th May – The Night Cat, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 16th May – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tiny Ruins w/ Ryan Downey
Friday 10th May – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 11th May – Mojos Bar, Fremantle, WA

Whiskey Dram
Friday 10th May – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

William Crighton
Friday 10th May – 5 Church St, Bellingen, NSW
Saturday 11th May – South West Roxy Cinema, South West Rocks, NSW

Witches Leap
Friday 10th May – The Old City Bank, Katoomba, NSW

Yulli’s Sessions feat. Good Tom Wallace
Wednesday 15th May – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Z-Star Trinity
Saturday 11th May – Mangrove Mountain Public Hall, Mangrove Mountain, NSW
Sunday 12th May – Tomerong School of Arts, Tomerong, NSW
Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th May – Blues on Broadbeach, Broadbeach, QLD

Friday Folk Flashback

“All The Pretty Horses” – Calexico

New Music Monday – 6th May

Fanny Lumsden
Image Courtesy of Fanny Lumsden

Chance McCoy – “No One Loves You (The Way That I Do)”

Old Crow Medicine show fiddler, banjo player and guitarist Chance McCoy has just released his brand new solo single “No One Loves You (The Way That I Do)”. Leaning heavily into atmospheric indie-folk reminiscent of The Beta Band or The Shins, the track stands in stark contrast to Old Crow’s old time and bluegrass sound. Interestingly McCoy has announced he won’t be touring with Old Crow Medicine Show in 2019 to focus on his solo work, so I’d say we can expect a lot more from him in the coming months.

Fanny Lumsden – “Pretty Little Fools”

Alt-country singer and Timber and Steel’s mate Fanny Lumsden released the highly anticipated new video for her track “Pretty Little Fools”. Directed by longtime collaborator Sam Brumby the video is the sequel to 2017’s “Totem Tennis” and features Fanny and her friends competing in some amazingly dodgy synchronised swimming in a local pool. Lovely stuff from Australia’s alt-country queen.

Fanny Lumsden has also announced the 2019/20 tour dates for their annual Country Hall tour. As well as a bunch of local, regional dates throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia punters will be able to catch Lumsden and her band at Country Hall style shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The full list of dates are below:

Saturday 18th May – Soulful, Grafton, NSW
Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th July – Groundwater Country Music Festival, Gold Coast, QLD
Friday 2nd August – Herbert River Crushers Hall, Ingham, QLD
Saturday 3rd August – Dimbulah Memorial Hall, Dimbulah, QLD
Saturday 10th August – Isisford Hall, Isisford, QLD
Sunday 11th August – Tambo Hall, Tambo, QLD
Thursday 15th August – Evening Star Tourist Park, Charleville, QLD
Friday 16th August – Thargomindah Hall, Thargomindah, QLD
Friday 20th September – Toppy Hall, Wyalong, NSW
Saturday 21st September – Palladium Palace Theatre, Morundah, NSW
Friday 27th September – Eugowra Hall, Eugowra, NSW
Saturday 28th September – Tooraweenah Hall, Tooraweenah, NSW
Friday 4th October – Old Junee Hall, Old Junee, NSW
Friday 11th October – Marthaguy Hall, Marthaguy, NSW
Saturday 12th October – Spring Ridge, NSW
Friday 25th October – Springdale Memorial Hall, Springdale, NSW
Saturday 26th October – Gunbar Hall, Gunbar, NSW
Friday 1st November – Mumbanna Hall, Mumbannar, VIC
Saturday 2nd November – Joanna Hall, Joanna, SA
Friday 8th November – Polish Club, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 9th November – Giant Dwarf Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Friday 15th November – Loomberah Hall, Loomberah, NSW
Saturday 16th November – Glen Innes Hall, Glen Innes, NSW
Friday 6th December – Jamieson Hall, Jamieson, VIC
Sunday 8th December – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 13th December – Globe Theatre, Winchelsea, VIC
Friday 17th January – Curban Community Hall, Curban, NSW
Friday 14th February – Lake Cargelligo, NSW
Saturday 15th February – Boree Creek Hall, Boree Creek, NSW
Friday 21st February – The Risk Hall, Kyogle, NSW
Saturday 22nd February – Asgrove Bowlo, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 29th February – Warra Memorial Hall, Warra, QLD

Fred Smith – “Scots of the Riverina”

Celebrated Australian singer-songwriter Fred Smith released his new single and video “Scots of the Riverina” to coincide with Anzac Day week. The track, originally a poem by Henry Lawson put to music by John Schumann (Redgum), is taken from Smith’s new album Warries which he describes as “a collection of songs from conflict zones that aren’t on [2010 album] Dust of Uruzgan“.

Joy Williams – “No Place Like You”

Last week singer-songwriter Joy Williams (of The Civil Wars fame) released her brand new solo album Front Porch. “No Place Like You” is the latest single from that album and is a beautiful piece of soul-infused folk blues, pitting Williams’ amazing vocals with just a stripped back guitar.

Justin Townes Earle – “Appalachian Nightmare”

Another week, another track from Justin Townes Earle’s upcoming album The Saint Of Lost Causes (due on the 24th May). The track is a semi-autobiographical, very-fictional Americana durge and has a new video directed by Joshua Britt and Neilson Hubbard.

“I want this song to say that if you are marginalized, you will find anyway you can to survive,” Earle explained. “Drug problems and criminal behavior are not a problem of color, creed or race.”

Karine Polwart – “Since Yesterday”

Acclaimed Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart gives us a taste of her upcoming album Scottish Songbook (due on the 2nd August) with the new single “Since Yesterday”. The track, originally by Strawberry Switchblade, is released ahead of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week (15-21 May) and features a recording of Polwart’s grandfather singing.

“To me now, this song isn’t about teenage anxiety,” Polwart explained. “It’s about ageing and dementia, remembrance and loss. That’s partly because I’ve got older and life and meaning changes. Even tracks that you might remember as saccharine pop, they’re altered by time. And the real challenge and joy for me is getting inside them, because the lyrics & melodies are often so powerful and resonant.”

Kay Proudlove – “May The Fourth”

Wollongong based singer-songwriter Kay Proudlove released her Star Wars themed single “May The Fourth” over the weekend (naturally) and it’s really fun. More a parody of Star Wars and the people who love it rather than a tribute, Proudlove deftly straddles the line between corniness and mocking creating a track that’s really fun and well worth a repeat listen.

Matt Ward – “Take Me Home”

Adelaide based Americana singer-songwriter Matt Ward has released his new single “Take Me Home”, from the brand new album Heartland. “Take Me Home” hits all the required notes of modern Americana songwriting – Whiskey, faith, aging, traveling and a yearning for place – but elevates them through top notch production and impressive musicianship.

Mumford & Sons feat. Jerry Douglas – “Forever”

I’m on record as not being a fan of Mumford & Sons’ latest album Delta. But I’ll also admit when you strip all the noise out of the tracks on Delta and approach them in a raw, acoustic way, they do reveal good bones.

Case in point is this live version of “Forever”. When it’s just vocals, acoustic guitar and the unmistakable slide playing of the legendary Jerry Douglas, “Forever” leans a lot more towards Paul Simon than it does Coldplay. Here’s hoping Mumford & Sons get back to their acoustic roots the next time they head back into the studio.

Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017

Record Collection

Always our most popular post of the year! Once again we’ve sent out the request to the incredible community of folk and acoustic musicians covered on Timber and Steel and they’ve responded overwhelmingly with their favourite albums of 2017.

We’ve already given you our top 25 albums and EPs – now we turn it over to the artists. So much new music still to discover! So without further waffle may we present to you this year’s Timber and Steel’s Artists’ Top Albums of 2017.

Sarah BelknerAlison Avron
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But it Has
This album release was a long time coming and it was totally worth the wait. The lyrics are so easy to relate to, the production is sophisticated, warm and intriguing. Sarah’s voice and songwriting are absolutely sublime.

Gretta ZillerMichael Carpenter (Carpenter Caswell)
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Apart from having one of the most honest and accomplished voices in the Australian alt-country world, Gretta Ziller has developed into a world class writer in the genre. This album showcases how far she’s come in such a short time, combining her take on contemporary writing, with the amazing production of Paul Ruske. The album is strong and sensitive, ballsy and ambitious, without losing any of the heart you’d expect with the songwriting content. An outstanding release from an artist who has truly arrived, and drawn a line in the sand for the genre.

The East PointersÁine Tyrrell
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
What an impossible task, top albums, as I am only just sinking my teeth into so many of the amazing 2017 albums at the moment like Jen Cloher’s Jen Cloher, Declan O’Rourke’s Chronicles of The Great Irish Famine and so many more. But one album that has been top of my play list since release has been The East Pointers’ What We Leave Behind and I never tire of it, which is a sign of a great album. This album has great depth to it musically, lyrically and in production. There is a stunning simplicity to the way the three lads work together that creates a joyous sound much bigger than a three piece and I think they have captured it on CD which is sometimes hard to do. I love that they have been able to honour and respect their tradition and push its boundaries into some modern places. One of the stand out tracks for me is their co-write with Liz Stringer, “82 Fires”.

SOHNRosie Evelyn (Liam Gale and The Ponytails)
SOHNRennen
The general vibe is darkly sexy future blues, with simple, soulful vocals, driving percussion, major synth, and just enough movement to keep you going. A little bit James Blake, a little bit Allan Rayman.

Jed RoweLes Thomas
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
This album grabbed me instantly with the strength of its songwriting, quality of musicianship and directness of emotion. Very few songwriters I know can deliver the goods as writers and players like Jed can. The song “Tailem Bend” – a small town story with universal resonance – shows the level of accomplishment and expression he’s achieved and it’s a beautiful thing to hear.

Stu LarsenAMISTAT
Stu LarsenResolute
Not only is Stu a beautiful human being but also an incredible singer songwriter! Every song on this album is just beautiful and comes from a very honest and humble place.

Mexico CityM.E. Baird
Mexico CityWhen The Day Goes Dark
Why? Because they represent the real deal to me – no ego, no frills, no pretense, just damn good songs and tunes.

Hiss Golden MessengerBrooke Russell and the Mean Reds
Hiss Golden MessengerHallelujah Anyhow
There’s something about MC Taylor’s voice that makes me so happy. I’m fairly new to his music and while I’m diving into his back catalogue, this new one has arrived and I’m in love. Beautiful band sound, fab songs – something sentimental in it that feels warm to me. My rekkid for the summer!

Ryan AdamsRyan Oliver (Oliver’s Army)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
I love that it’s a revered, adored singer-songwriter at the top of his fame, dealing with genuine emotions and pain in the public spotlight. It may be tragic, it might be self inflicted, but I still feel like he’s a true artist who is his own worst enemy and that comes across in his heart-break ballads.

The Homeless Gospel ChoirFrank Turner
The Homeless Gospel ChoirNormal
I’ve been doing shows with Derek in Pittsburgh for a few years and he’s always been good, but this record is the sound of an artist finding his voice and spreading his creative wings. It’s been absolutely jammed in my stereo since I got hold of it.

Brooke RussellKelly Day (Broads)
Brooke Russell and the Mean RedsThe Way You Leave
This year one album really ticked all my boxes – which sounds too clinical really for something that made me splashy cry while I was driving. I particularly love that it sits outside the kind of music I tend to lean towards, but great albums are often the ones that transcend your usual inclinations. Brooke has absolutely NAILED it with this release. Stunning production, exquisite songwriting, and the most luscious, authentic, rich voice that feels like someone blowing softly on the back of your neck.

Gretta ZillerMandy Connell
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Put together with care and love, produced beautifully, and full of arrangements that feel perfect, unpredictable and just right. Every song inspires a depth of feeling, making it a really rich listen all the way through.

Offa RexMackenzie Shivers
Offa RexQueen of Hearts
Being a true lover of Celtic music, this album inspired me as an artist more than any other. From quirky folk-rock (“Queen of Hearts”) to haunting ballads (“The First Time I Ever Saw Her Face”), there is just enough variety of instrumentation and mood to keep the listener completely captivated. And Olivia Chaney’s voice is arrestingly beautiful. Favorite track: “The Old Churchyard”

Fanny LusdenMelody Moko
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I love the way Fanny has cemented her unique way of writing with the record, her blend of social commentary, vivid imagery and Australian culture is unlike anyone else. The production is lush and thoughtful and brings the album together beautifully.

Moses SumneyTulalah
Moses SumneyAromanticism
Choosing a favourite album is a hard ask, the first one that comes to mind (probably because I’m currently listening to it) is Moses’ masterpiece, Aromanticism. It’s impeccably well constructed; colour, texture, mood, feel, groove – it ticks all of the boxes and ticks them damn well.

The War On DrugsThe Once
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
A super strong, sonically rich and atmospheric follow up to previous album, Lost in the Dream. Sounds like Ryan Adams, Bryan Adams and Bruce Springsteen adopted a kid in the seventies and this is the result of that happy home.

Jason IsbellBrad Butcher
Jason Isbell & the 400 UnitThe Nashville Sound
To make my decision for album of the year I simply refer to which album I’ve listen to most. It’s an easy choice really – The Nashville Sound by Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. All class as usual, amazing sounds all throughout the record and Isbell’s songwriting is up there with the best of the best.

Jed RoweCat Canteri
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
Jed paints a beautiful and lush portrait of predominantly Australian characters and landscapes, past and present on this record. The depth of field and attention to detail in his songwriting is just wonderful and comes across as completely effortless. Sonically the album is paired back, which allows the strength and quality of the songs, performances and Jed’s voice to shine. If I can write a song like “Where The Water Meets The Sky” or “Tailem Bend” some day, I’ll be well pleased.

LordePepi Emmerichs (Oh Pep!)
LordeMelodrama
Melodrama hits me in the heart every time. It’s lush, poignant, groovy and the songs make me think, all the while being incredibly catchy. Those are pretty much most of my favourite things in music!

TajMoLloyd Spiegel
TajMo: The Taj Mahal & Keb’ Mo’ BandTajMo
The first time I heard Keb’ Mo’ I said “Man, this guy should sit in with Taj”. It’s about time they listened to me. Both these artists have the rare ability to modernise the blues genre while still giving it’s roots and traditions their rightful respect. Combined, this CD hit a nerve with me, in particular the gutbucket tracks “Don’t Leave Me Here” and “Diving Duck Blues”. Really though, you can’t put those two in a room and expect anything less.

Valerie JuneEmily Barker
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I learned about Valerie June on my trips to Memphis as she lived there for many years and has worked with a lot of the musicians I know out there. I heard “Long, Lonely Road”, the first song on the record, and I knew from then on I was going to love it. There’s so much space in the recordings and her unusual but beautiful vocals grabbed me instantly. I love how the production and her songs seamlessly blend a mix a folk, soul, pop and desert blues. It sounds fresh and cool, powerful and feminine.

The Ahern BrothersJoel Barker & The Low Company
The Ahern BrothersThe Ahern Brothers
Charming and insightful songwriting combining two voices made to sing together. Deserves to be in front of the masses. Astonishing live performances to boot!

Cigarettes After SexHusky
Cigarettes After SexCigarettes After Sex
It’s a fog of romance and nostalgia you can’t help but get lost in. Reminds me of being 16 and love sick, listening to Mazzy Star.

Lisa KnappSam Lee
Lisa KnappTill April Is Dead – A Garland of May
English folk singer Lisa Knapp has captured in this album a stunning insight into the melodic and archaic realms of May-time when all of England is blooming and the sense of ancient rites and mysticism is emerging from the dark winter. It’s an album that casts a rich and hauntingly magical spell and gives that sense of contemporary ancientness that all good folk singers are masters of.

Greg StepsFour In The Morning
Greg Steps & The Not For ProphetsThe Overland
There have been a lot of great releases this year, but our favourite from around Melbourne has to be The Overland by Greg Steps. The songs just scream of someone who has worked hard at honing their craft. Tightly woven lyrics painting little snapshots of Australia, from early morning walks in Melbourne to trains clattering across Queensland. It’s all underlaid with a warm, folky vibe that feels authentic without being derivative. The stand out track for us is “Famous Last Words”. It’s a folk song in the true sense of the word and weaves together thoughts on fame, colonialism, and folk heroes. It also introduced us to the amazing story of Breaker Morant.

Novo Amor and Ed TullettWildwood Kin
Novo Amor & Ed TullettHeiress
This is the perfect album to listen to when in need of some peace and tranquility amongst a busy schedule. They have released a set of live performance videos that capture their sound together so well; the two voices blend harmoniously together, creating an unbelievable sound of completeness and perfection. You can’t help feeling relaxed when hearing their music!

Leif VollebekkRiley Pearce
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
You know how people say they’ve had this CD in their car and have listened to it on repeat since they got it and you’re like “yeh right, no you didn’t”. Well now I understand that feeling. This album is everything. It’s emotive, it’s clever, it’s stripped and simple and it’s f#@king great!

The Teskey BrothersPaddy McHugh
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
When I first heard the track “Crying Shame” I thought that I was listening to a bunch of old African American soul men from Memphis. Then I saw a picture of the band and thought I was listening to a bunch of young white soul dudes from Memphis. Then I read they are from bloody Warrandyte in Victoria. I invited them to play live on my radio show Three Chords & The Truth and they absolutely killed it. Since then I have had the pleasure of playing on a few bills with them and can also report that they are top blokes to boot.

Big TheifFraser A. Gorman
Big ThiefCapacity
Adrianne Lenker is easily the most eloquent and beautiful songwriter I’ve heard in years.

Neil McSweeneyJon Boden
Neil McSweeneyA Coat Worth Wearing
I’ve chosen an album by Neil McSweeney, a stalwart of the Sheffield scene for many years. A Coat Worth Wearing is a fantastically literate collection of songs beautifully arranged and produced, and displaying the talents of a brilliant band of musicians including renowned folk stalwarts Ben Nicholls and Sam Sweeney. It’s an excellent album on so many levels and definitely my pick for album of 2017.

YirrmalKetch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show)
YirrmalYoungblood
I met Yirrmal Marika in Melbourne at the Australian Americana Honors Awards this past October. Yirrmal stole the show. He is a culture man. I picked up Yirrmal’s new EP Youngblood; it is the best Americana record I heard all year long. It’s got 50,000 years of soul. Crank it up.

Nadia ReidTaryn La Fauci
Nadia ReidPreservation
This record was on repeat for many many months in my car this year. I had really been craving an exquisite, cohesive and beautiful album that I could fall for, hard. This album did all of that and more, which is why it is my album of the year for 2017. I also got to see Nadia play in Sydney at The Golden Age Cinema in April and the show was stunning, it made me want to run home and learn how to play my guitar with that kind of verve.

Ryan AdamsImogen Clark
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
This album sounds to me like beautiful chaos and distress. Ryan Adams has a way of tapping into human vulnerability and woe like I don’t think I’ve ever heard from another artist. This record is just another example of his way with words and melodies that together, form the most melancholy but simultaneously kick-ass comments on the human condition you’ll ever hear from any modern day songwriter.

Sgt PepperJames Daley (The Morrisons, Diamond Duck, Tawny Owl String Band)
The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – 50th Anniversary Edition
I feel a bit a strange choosing a reissue as album of the year, but who cares, it’s Sgt Peppers. After all the music I have listened to in my life, nothing has ever captured my imagination the way The Beatles have. It is the most astonishing body of work in pop music, the same way Bach is to classical music or Shakespeare to literature. I discovered The Beatles as a teenager after I got a copy of The White Album for xmas one year and my life has never been the same. Hearing all the remastered tracks and outtakes on this reissue was a wild journey and reinvigorated my love for this music in a way I hadn’t anticipated – I have been listening to The Beatles non stop since it came out, like I’m rediscovering it all over again. There are some absolute pearlers on this – the alternate takes of “Strawberry Fields”, “Lucy In The Sky” and “Day In The Life” are really interesting. Hearing how they built these songs into what we know and love is a fascinating process. However the most astonishing track is the instrumental take of “She’s Leaving Home”. Being able to hear all the subtlety, intricacy and beauty of George Martin’s arrangement for strings/harp was such a joy. A real masterclass in arranging – plus you can sing over and pretend you are Paul McCartney, ha.

The War On DrugsDirewolf
The War on DrugsA Deeper Understanding
Don’t you just adore things that need only a moment to take a firm grip around your mind, heart and/or soul? Like a one in a million barista made coffee or takeaway Thai? Not that I’m directly drawing comparisons between those things and what I consider to be a modern day classic album. However that is how my body reacted when the first second of “Up All Night” passed by. The unmistakable soundscape, verb soaked /grunge driven guitars, the synergy of acoustic/electronic driving “Dire Straights” percussion, Adam Granofsky’s/Bob Dylan’s often confused voices are but the tip of a very large and colourful iceberg that make up the record at large. We’re only supposed to be confined to one sentence, and since I’ve already profoundly broken that line I’m going to insist you put this record on in the background and see how long it takes you to stop needle poking around on the internet and gain A Deeper Understanding.

Scott CookLiz Frencham
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
I listen repeatedly to a lot of albums for my work as an accompanist. Rarely does such an album make it past that stage into my ‘listening
for pleasure’ category let alone become my favourite. But Scott Cook’s warm and beautiful Further Down The Line is one such album. It captures his arresting live delivery and the songs are rich in detail and real, visceral experience.

Dermot KennedyHarrison Storm
Dermot KennedyDoves & Ravens
I remember stumbling upon Dermot’s music on Spotify and instantly connecting with it. I became really intrigued with his music and read in an interview where he explains his sound as a cross between Bon Iver and Drake, which is pretty accurate. This EP is full of rich lyrics and interesting sounds and each listen uncovers a phrase or sound you may have missed in the previous listen. This EP definitely inspired me this year and I am looking forward to what he releases in 2018.

Laura CorteseThe East Pointers
Laura Cortese & The Dance CardsCalifornia Calling
If there’s one album we could pick from 2017, we’d have to choose California Calling by Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards. These girls are ridiculously talented (watching them perform live makes you want to go home, practice and write better songs). Their latest album combines Americana, trad, pop and folk so perfectly. Organic, yet slick. Can’t see how anyone wouldn’t like it!

FeistAinsley Farrell
FeistPleasure
Pleasure is so intimate and fragile, yet very powerful. It tugs at all my heartstrings. I recently got the chance to see her live performance at The Opera House and it blew me away.

Leif VollebekkDustin Tebbutt
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
My good friend Hayden Calnin introduced me to this guy over a late night whisky, and I have been listening ever since. The lyrics verge on stream of consciousness without being aimless, while vocally, Leif somehow manages to ride the line between being completely vulnerable and completely in control at the same time. Put this on top of some of the tastiest drum sounds I’ve heard in a long while, and simple but stunning keyboard playing, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an album. There are few bells and whistles, there aren’t really any production tricks or shoe shine here, just honest stories, and raw but precisely executed sounds.

Phoebe BridgersWilliam Fitzsimmons
Phoebe BridgersStranger in the Alps
I came upon Bridgers from my bandmate, who had done some touring with her and I was pretty caught up in it immediately. Her voice is special and there is a wisdom in her words beyond her young years. The most exciting thing for me, however, isn’t the album itself, it’s knowing that there is only more and even better from her to come. Listen to “Smoke Signals”.

The Mae TrioThe Northern Folk
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
We finally caught The Mae Trio at Dorrigo Folk this year after hearing good things for so long, and they blew us away. This is the kind of album that reminds you of how amazing our folk scene can be- heartspoken, cleverly arranged, beautifully performed and catchy as anything. “Call Me Stranger” is a particular favourite of ours, but each song on this record is so strong.

R.L. BoyceDom Turner (The Backsliders)
R.L. BoyceRoll and Tumble
It is the second album from a man at the heart of the Mississippi hill country blues tradition. It contains all the style and swagger, grit and power that comes from a musician who sets perfectly gritty grooves overlain with heartfelt vocals to achieve maximum emotion.

The Button CollectiveJoe Glover (Shelley’s Murder Boys, The Backsliders)
The Button CollectiveHall on the Hill
This album has been on constant repeat in my car, my workshop, and my Spotify from the first day I bought it – so beautifully recorded so that you feel like you are in the room with them as they emotionally belt out fantastic songs written by Brodie and brought to life by a bunch of great musicians. Hall on the Hill is an absolute cracker of an album and I think I’ll be religiously listening to it for some time to come – perhaps until their next one is released.

Willie WatsonShelley Eves (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
Willie WatsonFolksinger Vol.2
This album is such a clear winner for me, I’ve had it on high rotation since its release. Once again Willie brought his own feel to some classic folk songs, from the delightfully joyful harmonies in “Samson and Delilah” to his haunting take on “Gallows Pole”.

All Our Exes Live in TexasJimmy Murray (Shelley’s Murder Boys)
All Our Exes Live in TexasWhen We Fall
Such a pleasure to finally hear this debut album after hearing the band grow and play over the past few years. What an amazing collection of songs and of course the incredible vocal performances from all 4 of these superstars. I really loved the production on the album as well by producer Wayne Connolly which added lovely colour to the beautiful songs. ARIA award winners 2017!

Kat GoldmanRuth Hazleton (Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton, Bill Jackson)
Kat GoldmanWorking Man’s Blues
Nina Simone once said “It’s an artist’s duty … to reflect the times [in which we live]”. It’s been a fantastic year of new releases, though I’d like to highlight an album that nails the above brief and more. Canadian writer Kat Goldman’s Working Man’s Blues is challenging, at times fragile, brutally honest and incredibly insightful. Collectively, the songs explore contemporary working-class culture, often from the perspective of a lover who struggles to understand and accommodate the struggles of the working man. I’ve long been a fan of Kat Goldman’s writing. Her unique sound, mesmerising voice, distinctive compositions and feet-on-the-ground approach to her music make her a formidable artist of great integrity. Working Man’s Blues has been on high rotation here, and will be for some time to come.

Jed RoweBill Jackson
Jed RoweA Foreign Country
First thing that struck me about this record was the vocals and these songs provide a beautiful vehicle for a great voice. Next thing, the sparseness – the way I have been accustomed to hearing Jed over his journey. Jed Rowe has something to say – I admire that and this record puts him up there with the very best. Standout track for me is “Tailem Bend”. Beautifully produced by Jeff Lang.

Lilly HiattJames Allsopp (Ralway Bell)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
Picking one standout release for 2017 was pretty impossible in what was a year of exceptional music. Locally, Joel Barker and the Low Company’s Unchartered EP was a stand out. Otherwise, I’ve been talking up Lilly Hiatt since the moment I finished listening to Trinity Lane. Like all my favourite albums, it’s rooted in personal struggle, ebbs and flows perfectly, is filled with outstanding musicianship, and doesn’t try too hard sound like any one genre in particular. 10 stars!

Body CountMatt Black (The Bottlers)
Body CountBloodlust
Body Count’s sixth studio album Bloodlust emblazons a brutally honest sociopolitical conscience and fire eyed world view, teetering on the honed end of a pistol sight. I feel this is Ice T and band’s tried and true return to form with pinpoint, stand out tracks such as the narrative charged, “Black Hoody” and controversy ladened, “No Lives Matter”. A must listen for those thirsting for the truth beyond a media blurred world.

Bob DylanThe Welcome Wagon
Bob DylanTrouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
You might call this choice dirty pool, as the music was recorded nearly 40 years ago, but it’s only now getting a proper release, so I’m technically in the clear. This is a collection of live tracks, demos, and outtakes from Bob Dylan’s so-called “Born Again” period, stuff folks (me included) have been downloading from various sketchy websites for years, and for good reason. The songs are great – check “Solid Rock” for a straight Gospel stomper, cue up “I Believe in You” for an arresting spiritual ballad – and so are many of the live performances (the backing choir is consistently blistering). Whether you’re a believer or not, Dylan clearly is here, and it makes all the difference.

The Mae TrioJohn Flanagan
The Mae TrioTake Care Take Cover
Sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby have such beautifully contrasting songwriting styles, Maggie is a stone cold killer Americana writer and Elsie writes stunningly original melodies with uplifting pop hook choruses. With (no exaggeration) some of the best folk harmonies in the WORLD and Anita’s impressive rhythmic cello playing, this is a truly unique and heart-grabbing band and this album is them going all out with tasteful and at times epic production.

Georgia State LineNick Payne (Dear Orphans)
Georgia State LineHeaven Knows
These guys applied to play at the Americana Music Association of Australia’s takeover of Late Night Alt at Tamworth in January. Paul Heggart from The Heggarties chose them site unseen from the applications purely based on what he heard when he listened to their pre-release recordings of this album. Hailing from country Victoria these guys are a six piece featuring Georgia Delves on vocals, and songwriting. They’re all accomplished instrumentalists in their own right and Georgia’s songwriting authentically channels the best of sophisticated country songwriting from the 60s and 70s.

Fanny LusdenSam Buckingham
Fanny LumsdenReal Class Act
I’m not just picking this album because Fanny and Dan are two of my favourite people! This album is, as the title suggests, all class. Fanny’s songwriting is beautifully Australian and the album is joyful, brilliantly performed by all involved, and completely without any ego – despite the outstanding success these guys have been earning. Fanny gives us all a lesson on how to be a ripper indie artist and how to make music that’s undoubtedly, authentically, your own. Roll on kids

LCD SoundsystemEm George
LCD SoundsystemAmerican Dream
I was moderately (read as *very*) excited when there were rumblings of talk about a new album from these guys, but like anything that was laid to rest, one always is slightly concerned that the revival won’t live up to what has come before it. So when LCD Soundsystem released their new album, I cautiously gave it a first listen and it did not disappoint. Every beat and melodic turn is so completely in tune to what has become their signature sound; that build up of tension and release, excitement and sadness, with inflections of irony that James Murphy grabs the listener with in his choice of lyrics marked with wit. There’s a touch of darkness and melancholy as each song seems to question the ending of things, the loss of once was, but that bright spark of beat this band is known for keeps it somewhere higher and closer within reach, slightly unobtainable so you keep wanting to hear it on repeat from start to finish again and again.

Aldous HardingCharm of Finches
Aldous HardingParty
Party swept us off our feet. Moody and textural, impeccable production awash with aural spectres. Horizon is addictive and moving. Aldous’ compelling voice and haunting poetics have us in thrall.

The Teskey BrothersMark Wilkinson
The Teskey BrothersHalf Mile Harvest
Amazing vocals and killer tracks full of old school soul. Sounds like neat whiskey and smokey bars.

The NationalBANFF
The NationalSleep Well Beast
I eagerly awaited The National’s next record, after Trouble Will Find Me kept me wrapped me up in its flawlessness for the last four years or there abouts. This year Sleep Well Beast won me over, with Matt Berninger’s candid yet agitated words luring me back into that deeply thoughtful, emotional and hauntingly beautiful sound I would’ve always come back for. The National perfectly blend understated harmony with organised chaos throughout all of their records, and this was no exception by any means. The meticulous musicianship and purposeful, but somewhat ambiguous lyrics continue unravelling more layers to this beast in itself every time I listen. This was the best record of 2017 for mine.

LankumKarine Polwart
LankumBetween The Earth and Sky
I can’t get enough of the murky drone-scapes and vocal edges of Lankum’s Between The Earth and Sky. In particular, the raw, reedy singing of Radie Peat on album opener “What Shall We Do When We Have No Money?” sounds like the ages. It’s the absolute antithesis of sweet.

The Wood BrothersBen Prest (Echo Deer)
The Wood BrothersLive at the Barn
I know it’s a live album but this release was my first exposure to the brother’s amazing songs, chops and harmonies. Their sound owes a lot to The Band, and “the barn” is at Levon Helm’s farm where he held concerts before he died, making the fantastic closing cover of “Ophelia” and dedication on “Postcards from Hell” all the more meaningful.

Jess LockeHollie Matthew (Echo Deer)
Jess LockeUniverse
A revisiting of the 80’s Australian rock sound ala Go Betweens with more sadness and slacker vibe. Killer matter of fact lyrics and chorus-y guitar sounds. Even better live. 5 Stars.

SamphaSimon Wegman (Echo Deer)
SamphaProcess
I hadn’t been aware of Sampha’s previous EP releases, but after Shazaming “Blood on Me” while in a tragically trendy sneaker store, I was moved to hunt down the British singer and producer’s debut LP. Sampha Sisay’s sensitive, soulful vocals and meditative piano (reminiscent of James Blake at his best) form the backbone of this record, while the thoughtful production touches throughout make me want to hit “play” again the second it finishes.

All Them WitchesAlexi Grivas (Echo Deer)
All Them WitchesSleeping Through the War
The latest album by All Them Witches has been my most played record this year. A four piece from Nashville – but they aren’t a country band – All Them Witches is a great new-wave heavy psychedelic band, with moments of light and shade. This record has them growing as writers and players, bringing new instruments and sounds into the mix. Can’t wait to see it live.

Sam OutlawRick Hart
Sam OutlawTenderheart
Simple, yet endearing melodies, layered with beautiful storytelling. It’s an album that is strong from start to end, in many ways reminding me of some of the great traditional country songwriters whom I love. Favourite tracks are “Now She Tells Me”, “She’s Playing Hard To Get (Rid Of)” and “Bougainvillea, I Think”.

Courtney Marie AndrewsJames Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Courtney Marie AndrewsHonest Life
I knew what my favourite album of the year was going to be when I saw Courtney Marie Andrews play in Melbourne in July this year. She’s got a tremendous voice and the lyrics stand apart from almost everything else I’ve heard this year in their insight and honesty. What makes her songs exceptional is the way they all seem to come directly from her own story and experience. These are her songs and this is her life. It’s an honest life.

Mike BarnettHamish Davidson (Davidson Brothers)
Mike BarnettPortraits in Fiddles
As a fiddle player and bluegrass fanatic, I am thrilled to see Mike Barnett create a record which to me is like a cross section of all the bluegrass fiddle music I’ve devoured in the last 27 years. He collaborates with some of bluegrass music’s most vibrant talent and shines new light on a great selection of fiddle masterpieces.

Angel OlsenKate Barker (Whoa Mule, Golden Whistler)
Angel OlsenPhases
I just can’t seem to get enough of Angel Olsen’s vocals and songwriting. Her work inspires me to sing like there’s no tomorrow!

George HarrisonTim Guy
George HarrisonWonderwall Music
I know this is a turn up for the books, this was released in 1968. I was in India a few weeks back, and as we descended into the ancient blue city of Jodhpur, I had this on in my headphones and seriously guys, it was incred. Place and time – but you know what I mean.

Sarah BelknerMel Parsons
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
Sydney producer and songwriter Sarah Belkner knocks it out of the park with But You Are, But It Has. This record and its predecessor the Humans EP have been on high rotation for me all year. Brilliant songwriting, interesting and super clever arrangements and impeccable production. I will continue to listen obsessively.

Bill OrcuttMark Moldre
Bill OrcuttBill Orcutt
Orcutt wanders in and around the destruction, renovations and construction sites of melody. Tearing a well worn musical phrase apart and rebuilding it. Disassembling a traditional like it’s a jigsaw puzzle and putting the pieces back together in all the wrong places with gaffer tape and super glue. Attacking the guitar with a ferocious tenacity, short angry, dogged outbursts are followed by meditative beauty. “When You Wish Upon A Star” dances about the melody without ever really clearly stating the theme. “Ol’ Man River” is soft and dripping with the peaceful lapping of the Mississippi whist remaining dark and haunting, broken and fractured. Reminiscent of the solo work of Marc Ribot, Fred Frith or even the sonic explorations of Tom Verlaine in its angular assault to the senses. Jazz, traditional folk and the avant-garde smash headlong into each other with little regard for the trail of damage and re-creation left in their wake. Dissonant yet sweet, contemplative while remaining challenging. Bravely free and uncensored.

Loene CarmenCatherine Traicos
Loene CarmenLovers Dreamers Fighters
I’ve always loved the way Lo’s voice manages to be strong, vulnerable, sassy, gentle and flirty all at the same time, and on this record it achieves that in spades. Also the pacing and the production of this record are spot on.

King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardJeff Lang
King Gizzard And The Lizard WizardFlying Microtonal Banana
This is a rocking album, really fun to listen to. The band gets up quite a head of steam, the rhythm section powering with a relentless forward momentum and the various microtonal electric guitars stabbing and chattering over the top. Great riffs all over the album, fantastic energy and an adventurous, explorative mood throughout. It sounds to me like they’re having a load of fun.

Ryan AdamsJosh Rennie-Hynes (The Ahern Brothers)
Ryan AdamsPrisoner
Adams has so many albums and this is one of his best. Great songs, production and tones

Pony FaceCat Leahy (This Way North)
Pony FaceDeja Vu
I’ve always been fascinated with the sonic scapes that Pony Face create. I’m a massive fan of Shane Omara’s musical mind too, so when I heard he was a new member of Pony Face, it just made so much sense. This album really speaks to me. The way the songs tail in and out, the mesmerising, pulsing tremolo on “Mt Deja Vu” the driving groove in “Justine”. It’s pretty magical. Simon’s voice is just heavenly. He’s like some kind of grungy, modern-day crooner.

Nikki LaneRuby Boots
Nikki LaneHighway Queen
I tried to pick another album for fear of seeming biased, but I really do love Nikki’s album from back to front and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get past it for this year’s top pick, I fell in love with it on first listen and over 50 listens later it still remains my fave. There’s a storyline in every song that is so easy to latch on to and make your own whilst still being cleverly written, that and the infectious melodies that take up the prime real estate on this record are the things that almost make you feel like she’s written the album just for you, the listener, yet there is enough sincerity in there to know that it’s just as much for her as it is for you, the perfect balance really! Fave song on the album: “Foolish Heart”.

Nai palmTommy Spender (Mama Kin Spender)
Nai PalmNeedle Paw
I started listening to this record while I was having a bath and it felt like it really complimented the complete surrender to the hot water. I love Nai’s passion to her artistry. She is truly gifted with a confidence and commitment to her voice that verges on punk, but her vocal has such a developed technicality, it blows me away. It’s so great hearing where she is at without the sinewy and muscular musicality of Haitus Kaiyote winding around her sound.

Scott CookAlanna and Alicia
Scott CookFurther Down The Line
Scott Cook is a natural storyteller; his songs glow with empathy, wit and warmth. This is a beautiful album, but he is even better live.
His performance on the porch at Enda Kennedy’s house concert in Northcote, Melbourne was a passport to the heartland of folk songs as they should be, as they have always been.

Colter WallHarvey Russell (Peasant Moon)
Colter WallColter Wall
This is a sparse, flawless debut from an extraordinarily talented 22 year-old Canadian possessing an absurdly weathered baritone. Arranged mostly with acoustic guitar and pedal steel only, these songs are written with the assuredness and self-knowing of a veteran songwriter. At times channelling Haggard, others Townes, the dark, vivid storytelling is magnetic and stunning. These songs feel lived in, shaped by wisdom and experience. Here we have a voice of country music’s future.

Caroline SpenceJosie Rothwell (Peasant Moon)
Caroline SpenceSpades and Roses
I’ve adored Spades and Roses this year. The songs are gentle, personal, universal, with gorgeous, sonically diverse but simple instrumentation. From the gender politics of “Softball” to the twang of “Hotel Armarillo” to the cute, lyrically playful “Wishing Well” and yearning of “Slow Dancer”, they’re songs I love to listen to, to be swept away by – what a songwriter!

Bad // DreemsMark “Looch” Lewis (Wifey, Handsome Young Strangers)
Bad // DreemsGutful
A cracking second effort from the best thing to come out of Adelaide in a long time. Big old school pub rock sound, quality songs, gruff vocals and a solid rhythm section make these guys a step above the other contenders. Bad // Dreems have always been a fantastic live act and this album gets closer to nailing that intensity and rawness. There is a reason they supported Midnight Oil recently! Can’t wait to see what comes next.

Gang of YourhsGretta Ray
Gang of YouthsGo Farther In Lightness
It wasn’t a challenge in the slightest to fall completely, head over heels in love with Gang Of Youths’ record Go Father In Lightness. The lyrics throughout this album are phenomenal, philosophical, pegging together lines of innovative poetry such as “a weight that’s in youth” soon to be followed by more casual, laid-back slang “..that makes a dick of us all”. I felt that the literature, interwoven with conversational speech in this way served to make this album, an album that discusses and reflects on the pros and cons of one’s “limited life” as well as the exploration of what it is to be “human”, unbelievably moving and relatable. As a writer myself, but more importantly a listener, I perceived it to be nothing less of an honour to see the world through writer and frontman Dave Le’aupepe’s eyes whilst listening to this record, that is more than deserving of all of the acclaim it has received over the duration of this year.

Kasey ChambersTom Busby (Busby Marou)
Kasey ChambersDragonfly
I’ve spent a bit of time with Kasey and the Chambers family over the last couple of years and the more I’ve been able to watch her off stage, the more I have realised that she is a true and prolific songwriter. Constantly singing, always creating, forever exploring. That is what this record is, just like her, brave and genuine!

Kendrick LamarSahara Beck
Kendrick LamarDamn
This album has worked for me no matter what mood I’ve been in all through 2017. It’s one of those albums that, to me, will always be a classic. Driving down to the lake with the windows down loving every moment of each song. Thank you for making my 2017 that much better Kendrick.

Leif VollebekkHayden Calnin
Leif VollebekkTwin Solitude
Never has an album been so important. I’ve listened to this every second day, and it still feels as good as the first listen. It’s come to the point that I’ve started a petition to bring this talent to Melbourne. I’m addicted to the feeling Leif gives to me. Enjoyed best walking through chaos on a sunny day, forgetting the world around you.

Ulrika SpacekTom Stephens (Tesse)
Ulrika SpacekModern English Decoration
A lesson in the art of denial, an element is there and then it’s not. It’s driving and heavy, commanding attention, but somehow you can drift away at the same time. Melodies that have to be revisited again and again and then again.

Valerie JuneMatt Golotta (The Sweet Jelly Rolls)
Valerie JuneThe Order of Time
I listened to the first few songs online of The Order of Time when it first came out, then began calling record stores instantly to see if they had it in stock because I had to own it. This record seriously has everything I look for, its soulful, rocky, bluesy and country, with the right amount of sadness. I think I’ve listened to “Love You Once Made” every day this year since buying the record. “Got Soul” is a stunning pairing of soul and country that is this perfect happy way to close the record.

Daniel RomanoTamara Lindeman (The Weather Station)
Daniel RomanoModern Pressure
Definitely the record I listened to most this year. Just great. Perfect pop songwriting, wonderful wild drumming, insane bass playing, great solos, crazy organ jams, great everything (and every note played by Romano of course). What else do you want?

Big ThiefCy Winstanley (Tattletale Saints)
Big ThiefCapacity
After being introduced to ‘Paul’ from 2016’s Masterpiece on a late night drive, and subsequently watching their Tiny Desk concert, I have been enthralled with this band. I love Adrianne Lenker’s poetic, yet coherent and often confronting lyrics, and the stark arrangements of harmonically rich songs played with a nonchalance that belies their mastery.

Sara TindleyLucie Thorne
Sara TindleyWild & Unknown
There’s an extraordinary richness and directness to Tindley’s voice that is truly stunning. Wild & Unknown is a brave and beautiful collection of songs that’ll have you dancing one moment, weeping the next. A quiet masterpiece that creeps up under your skin and plants itself in your soul. I love this album.

Jen CloherAlison Ferrier
Jen CloherJen Cloher
I love everything about Jen Cloher’s self-titled fourth album. This comes close to the perfect album for me, it’s brilliantly written, performed, recorded and produced. Jen’s bare-faced honesty is incredibly brave and inspiring. Favourite tracks: “I Forgot Myself” and “Strong Woman”.

The Secret SistersThe Weeping Willows
The Secret SistersYou Don’t Own Me Anymore
Selecting your favourite album of the past 12 months is made all the more difficult when three of your favourite acts (Jason Isbell, David Rawlings and The Secret Sisters) all release LPs within the same calendar year. But whilst Isbell and Rawlings delivered sublime albums (as to be expected), the Sisters’ album is “all killer, no filler”, their best work yet, with no temptation to reach for the “skip” button! You Don’t Own Me Anymore is the charming trad-country harmony duo’s third album and most personal project to date. The writing is at times confessional, at others, nostalgic for simpler times; strength juxtaposed with vulnerability. Their soulful songs were lovingly and tastefully produced by good friend Brandi Carlile. Stand out tracks include “Tennessee River Runs Low”, murder ballad “Mississippi” (sister song to the wonderfully haunting, “Iuka” from their 2014 album, Put Your Needle Down), “Little Again” and title track, “You Don’t Own Me Anymore”. Check them out if you’re fans of sibling harmony (eg. The Everly Brothers) and/or the southern gothic stylings of Gillian Welch and The Civil Wars.

Lilly HiattSophie Klein (Little Wise)
Lilly HiattTrinity Lane
I saw Lilly perform at Third Man Records at AmericanaFest in Nashville, but the gravity of her songwriting only hit me afterwards, listening to her rocking 2017 album Trinity Lane on my headphones traveling around the States. The production, by Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope, is big, loud, gritty and more indie rock than Nashville alt-country. But Lilly’s voice still has a southern twang to it though and the melodies and words kick around my brain for days on end. “I just wanna rock n’ roll, scream out my and burn real slow” she sings on “Records”, and it makes me want to do the same.

Jamie WyattGretta Ziller
Jamie WyattFelony Blues
Although it’s been out for most of the year I’ve only just discovered Jamie Wyatt’s Felony Blues! It’s a rare thing for me to listen to something on repeat but since I’ve discovered her it’s all I’m listening to!!! It’s unashamed, uncomplicated, catchy, good old fashioned country music.

Christopher Coleman CollectiveThe Dead Maggies
Christopher Coleman CollectiveAh Winter
This is a work of art, from a guy that’s had a hard run and put his heart on his sleeve. The result is a deep, personal and moving album of mature songwriting. Musically it sits somewhere between Bright Eyes and Neil Young.

Steve EarleTristan Goodall (The Audreys)
Steve Earle & The DukesSo You Wanna Be An Outlaw
Equal parts devilish invitation and cautionary tale, this killer record was a tour van favourite as we hit the road after a break this year. Steve is in fine form, as usual, and while the album is boisterous and swaggering, it also manages to highlight his songwriting craft. Highlight: Willie Nelson growling “if you wanna be an outlaw you can never go home”. Giddy-up!

LogicSteve Barnard (Jon Cotton and The Book Keepers)
LogicEverybody
Riding my push bike past all the kids and their mothers, heads adorned in their icon of piety, devotion and religious identity. The burka is far more common in this corner of Sydney than most and it puts a smile on my face to see children enjoying their walk home from school with Mum. An old bogan crossing the road to the pub yells racial cliches about going back where you came from and then turns to me for my approval of his vitriol. I inform him I’m from overseas too, I just happen to be white and he is guilty of the grossest and purest type of racism. Racism is as blatant as the inability to see past difference and as subtle as the apathy that accompanies privilege. Everybody suffers either in their oppression or privilege. Everybody.

Lawrence GreenwoodTanya Batt (BATTS)
Lawrence GreenwoodP.S. I’m Haunted
Lawrence has been a favourite of mine for a long time with his previous project. It feels so nice to have a new album from him and my gosh wow. The melodic and lyrical genius within this album actually made me cry the first time I heard it. The journey this takes you on from start to finish is incredibly special. All of the amazing detail within the album leaves you finding something new each listen.

Gretta ZillerAndrew Swift
Gretta ZillerQueen Of Boomtown
Maybe I’m a little biased after spending so much time on the road with Gretta, but credit where credit’s due. Queen Of Boomtown is a solid record from start to finish. With underlying blues tones throughout, Queen Of Boomtown will have you tapping your feet, singing along and wiping away a tear or two again and again. Ziller is quickly being recognised as one of this country’s best songwriters and without a doubt one of its best vocalists.

Raise By EaglesSam Newton
Raised By EaglesI Must Be Somewhere
There is a great mix of upbeat and slow-burner tracks with a sprinkle of country here and there. The record is filled with great songwriting and heartfelt lyrics.

Ben SalterShane Nicholson
Ben SalterBack Yourself
I have a lot of favourite albums of 2017. It’s been a good year. But for me, one stands above the rest – Ben Salter’s Back Yourself. It’s equal parts diverse, brave, accomplished, intelligent, exciting, original, and just plain incredible, superior record-making.

Frank OceanThe Campervan Dancers
Frank OceanBiking
Ryan is arrested by the nostalgic visions of meatophorical bike-riding. Chelsea is delighted by how they manage to execute an extensive shouting outro with great aplomb.

The East PointersThe Little Stevies/Teeny Tiny Stevies
The East PointersWhat We Leave Behind
This recommendation is just as much about the album as it is about the live show, because TEP have done what is often very difficult to do and that’s to capture the energy and magic of their live show on record. As a band they’ve got the full package; great songs, impressive multi-instrumental musicianship, rich 3-part harmony, and to top it off they’re genuinely nice people. My favourites on the album are the vocal lead songs because I love a catchy melody and riff. But I also really enjoy the instrumentals because they include some super interesting harmonic changes through them that don’t always go where you’re expecting them to go. It’s an album that’s made a non-fiddler make it their new years resolution to learn how to play the fiddle, so it must be pretty good.

Songs From DanMelanie Horsnell
Dan TuffySongs from Dan
I loved Dan Tuffy’s record Songs from Dan because I love the quiet back of the valley live sound and the song “The biggest bastard who ever rode the west” is every musician-having-a-low-down-day’s anthem. And I loved King Curly’s new EP but biased as now we are making a record together, so not allowed to vote for that.

Les Poules a ColinJesse Periard (Ten Strings and a Goat Skin)
Les Poules à ColinMorose
Les Poules à Colin have never been a band to limit themselves. They are constantly pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territory, which sets them apart from so many traditional music groups. They’ve grown so much as a band and Morose is a true representation of where they stand in the realm of traditional Québécois music and I couldn’t be more proud of them. This album has so many complex and beautiful layers to it, and has inspired me and taken me to places I didn’t expect.

Sarah BelknerJulia Johnson
Sarah BelknerBut You Are, But It Has
A record I have returned to repeatedly, finding more with every listen. The textures and arrangements glisten, but have this earthy, warm undercurrent. Her lyrics unfolded the more I honed in on them. Where I was wondering of their meaning upon first listen, months later her songs are resonating deeply with chapters and moments in my life. For me, there’s nothing more wondrous than finding a song that exposes one’s painful or wonderful experience as universal, and this album is rich with those gems. Standout track: “Cellophane”.

Jesca HoopAinslie Wills
Jesca HoopMemories Are Now
I describe this album to other people as “assertive folk” in that it has folk sensibilities and instrumentation but the song ideas are quite robust and angular at times which make it really memorable (ha! Pun not intended). Also, It has no drums which to me was really refreshing as most things these days are so banger/beat driven.

Trad AttackJoe Gould (The Crooked Fiddle Band)
Trad.Attack!Kullakarva / Shimmer Gold
Every so often I spend some time seeking out what’s happening in other local scenes around the world, and Crooked Fiddle’s musical equivalents therein – thus leading me to Estonia’s Trad.Attack! (punctuation included). Part melodic folk pop, part updated trad folk complete with Estonian bagpipes, they sometimes come across as a Baltic equivalent to Ireland’s Kila, especially on the epic title track.

Big ThiefAngie McMahon
Big ThiefCapacity
I’ve fallen in love with this band and this album. The intimacy of the songwriting has captured me, and the so many moments in the lyrics and music have brought me to moments of realisation and clarity. Some albums make you really grateful for music and the power it has over your mind, and this year, for me, it’s been this one.

Lana Del ReyTori Forsyth
Lana Del RayLust for Life
I love that Stevie Nicks has a little part of this record, she also experiments with some rad sounds. Also, lyrically this record is incredible.

This Is The KitEmily Staveley-Taylor (The Staves)
This Is The KitMoonshine Freeze
We met Kate, Rozi and Jamie at The Funkhaus during the Michelberger festival in Berlin last year and thought they were all wonderful people making wonderful music. Then we saw them play this album live at Eaux Claires festival in the summer and were blown away. The record has so many lovely, rounded sounds on it. It feels soft, but it has a driving energy that keeps pushing it forward. Kate’s voice has a familiar, kind quality when she sings – who doesn’t want to feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend when they listen to music? It’s a self-assured album by a band who seem to really know who they are. And that’s a comforting presence to be in. Plus the tunes are fucking banging. And the horns rule.

Sun Kil MoonNigel Wearne
Sun Kil MoonCommon As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood
This year Sun Kil Moon has been on high rotation. Common As Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is so different, that I honestly can’t remember hearing anything else like it. Spoken word poetry, prose, and random stories (including a Chameleon vs a Cat), diary entries, muses on David Bowie and Ali augmented by busted-up Dad hip hop. It’s completely whacked and compelling. A slow burn that requires the lyrics booklet.

Thank Folk It’s Friday – 13th October

TFIF

This Week in Folk

All the News From The Week That Was

– Ex-Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden released his new video “All The Stars Are Coming Out Tonight”. Details here

– Wollongong-based singer-songwriter Harrison Storm has announced headline shows when he’s out on tour with Josh Pyke. Details here

– Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick announced an EP launch tour this November. Details here

– Alt-country favourites Brooke Russell and The Mean Reds released their new video “Take A Little Time”. Details here

– Canadian duo Twin Peaks kicked off their Australian tour. Details here

– This month’s Bluegrass at Yulli’s will feature folk duo The New Macedon Rangers. Details here

– Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart announced her new album A Pocket Of Wind Resistance. Details here

– English trio The Young’uns released their powerful new video “Be The Man”. Details here

– Americana troubadour Sam Outlaw returns to Australia for a tour with Courtney Marie Andrews this December. Details here

– South Australian festival Porchland announced its first four artists including 30/70, Stu Larsen, Stella Donnelly and Bjear. Details here

– Indie-folk four-piece My Nightingale announced an East Coast tour. Details here

– The Riverboats Music Festival announced its 2018 lineup including Neil & Liam Finn, Kasey Chambers, Josh Pyke, The Black Sorrows with Vika & Linda Bull, The Teskey Brothers, Henry Wagons & The Only Children, Gawurra, Mojo Juju, Neil Murray, Caiti Baker, Jazz Party, Tracy McNeil & The GoodLife and Eaten By Dogs. Details here

– Byron Bay singer-songwriter Karin Page released her new video “Lonely Night”. Details here

Releases This Week

The Bottlers
The BottlersThe Bottlers
iTunes

Ye Vagabonds
Ye VagabondsYe Vagabonds
Bandcamp

Timber and Steel Recommends – Go To This Gig

Out On The Weekend

JTE

Australia’s premiere Americana festival hits Melbourne this Saturday with a huge lineup including Justin Townes Earle (above), Son Volt, Traveller (feat. Jonny Fritz, Robert Ellis and Cory Chisel), All Our Exes Live In Texas, The Deslondes, Robbie Fulks, Fanny Lumsden, The Sadies, Joshua Hedley, Raised by Eagles, Freya Josephine Hollick, Davidson Brothers, The Moonee Valley Drifters, Lillie Mae and James Ellis and the Jealous Guys

 

Saturday 14th October – Seaworks, Melbourne, VIC

Gigs Next Week

Acousticana BBQ feat. The Willing Ponies
Sunday 15th October – The George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Afternoon Delight feat. Tim Easton & Justin Bernasconi
Sunday 15th October – Rezza House Concerts, Melbourne, VIC

Áine Tyrrell
Thursday 19th October – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Alex The Astronaut
Thursday 19th October – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane, QLD

Andy Golledge
Saturday 14th October – The House Dining, Sydney, NSW

Ashlea Reale
Sunday 15th October – Mini Bar, Rockingham Beach, WA

Belle Harvey
Saturday 14th October – The Basso, Perth, WA
Sunday 15th October – Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Ben Ely
Sunday 15th October – Hotel Brunswick, Brunswick Heads, NSW

Ben Salter
Friday 13th October – The Barn, Aldgate, SA
Saturday 14th October – Oddfellow’s, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 15th October – Details TBC, WA
Thursday 19th October – High Tea, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th October – House Concert, Lennox Head, NSW

Benny Walker
Friday 13th October – Memo Music Hall, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Mill, Echuca, VIC

Bernard Fanning
Friday 13th October – Rosemount, Perth, WA
Saturday 14th October – Rosemount, Perth, WA
Wednesday 18th October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 19th October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Friday 20th October – The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD

Birregurra Festival and Art Show
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October – Birregurra, VIC

Bluegrass at Yulli’s feat. The New Macedon Rangers
Wednesday 18th October – Yulli’s, Sydney, NSW

Busby Marou
Friday 13th October – Narrabeen RSL, Narrabeen, NSW
Saturday 14th October – The Milton Theatre, Milton, NSW
Sunday 15th October – Rooty Hill RSL, Rooty Hill, NSW
Thursday 19th October – Ramsgate Hotel, Adelaide, SA
Friday 20th October – Norwood Hotel, Norwood, SA

Buskers by the Creek
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th October – Winders Park, Gold Coast, QLD

C.W. Stoneking
Friday 20th October – Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD

Cass Eager
Friday 13th October – The Lomond, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th October – The Piping Hot Chicken Shop, Ocean Grove, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Elwood Blues Club, The Prince of Wales, St Kilda, VIC
Thursday 19th October – The Heritage Hotel, Bulli, NSW
Friday 20th October – Django Bar, Sydney, NSW

Darebin Music Feast
Thursday 12th to Sunday 22nd October – Melbourne, VIC

Darebin Music Feast Cajun Dance Party feat. The ‘Johnny Can’t Dance’ Cajun Band
Sunday 15th October – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

Dearly Departed
Saturday 14th October – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Devil on the Rooftop
Friday 20th October – Compass Pizza, Melbourne, VIC

Diana Anaid
Friday 13th October – Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 15th October – The Palais Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 16th October – Metropolis, Fremantle, WA

Fallon Cush
Friday 20th October – LazyBones Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fanny Lumsden
Friday 13th October – Osbornes Flat Hall, Osbornes Flat, VIC
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – Wharf Hotel, Munyard, TAS

Figgy Folk Session
Monday 16th October – Figtree Pub, Figtree, NSW

Finders Keepers Melbourne Market
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne, VIC

Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October – Kinglake, VIC

Foghorn Stringband
Wednesday 18th October – Valencia Creek Hall, Valencia Creek, VIC
Thursday 19th October – Caravan Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – Canberra Musicians Club, Canberra, ACT

FolkSwagon feat. Small Town Romance, Ella Belfanti, Alana Wilkinson
Wednesday 18th October – Cafe Lounge, Sydney, NSW

Fred Smith
Friday 13th October – Harmonie German Club, Canberra, ACT
Sunday 15th October – Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW

Fremantle Folk Festival
Saturday 14th October – Fremantle, WA

Great Aunt
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October – Foggy Mountain Bluegrass Festival, Kinglake, VIC
Wednesday 18th October – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Gretta Stanley
Saturday 14th October – The Grass Is Greener Festival, Cairns, QLD

Gretta Ziller & Great Aunt
Wednesday 18th October – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC

Hannah Cameron and Clio
Tuesday 17th October – Tramway Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Hannah Matysek
Friday 13th October – Newtown Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday 15th October – Blacksheep, Sydney, NSW

Harry Hookey
Friday 13th October – Birdhouse Bar, Wagga Wagga, NSW

High Tea feat. Ben Salter
Thursday 19th October – House Concert, Sydney, NSW

Hughes Barbecue Opening Night feat. Sam Shinazzi
Friday 13th October – George Hotel, Sydney, NSW

Hush: An Evening of Quiet Music feat. Archer, Braille Face, Emily Ulman, Milwaukee Banks
Wednesday 18th October – The Toff in Town, Melbourne, VIC

Illawarra Folk Club and CLIME ACT Open Mic Night
Friday 13th October – City Diggers, Wollongong, NSW

James Ellis and the Jealous Guys
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Taproom, Castlemaine, VIC

Jed Rowe
Friday 20th October – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Jess Ribeiro
Tuesday 17th October – The Tote Front Bar, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th October – The Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC

Jim Lawrie & Robert Muinos
Friday 20th October – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Jo Jo Smith w/ Lucie Thorne & Hamish Stuart
Friday 20th October – Numurkah Foodbowl Festival, Shepparton, VIC

Justin Townes Earle w/ Joshua Hedley
Friday 13th October – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 16th October – Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 17th October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW
Thursday 19th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan, VIC

Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Karin Page
Friday 13th October – The Oriental Hotel, Newcastle, NSW

Karl S William
Friday 13th October – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Kasey Chambers
Saturday 14th October – Akoostik Music Festival, Wingham, NSW

Kate Burke and Luke Plumb
Sunday 15th October – Cobargo Hotel Motel, Cobargo, NSW

Katie Noonan’s Elixir
Tuesday 17th October – The Jazzlab, Melbourne, VIC

Kaurna Cronin
Friday 20th October – The Bassandean, Perth, WA

Ken Nicol
Friday 20th October – Albert Park Port Lounge, Melbourne, VIC

Kim Churchill
Friday 13th October – Fremantle Arts Centre Front Lawn, Fremantle, WA
Saturday 14th October – Prince of Wales, Bunbury, WA
Sunday 15th October – Red Room @ Clancys Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Friday 20th October – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Lambchop
Wednesday 18th October – Melbourne Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th October – The Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Les Thomas
Friday 13th October – Kingsbury Bowls, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – Kingsbury Bowls, Melbourne, VIC

Liam Gerner
Friday 13th October – The Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Dogs Bar, Melbourne, VIC

Lisa Crawley
Tuesday 17th October – Compass Pizza, Melbourne, VIC
Friday 20th October – The Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Little Wise w/ Rosie Burgess Trio
Friday 13th October – House Concert, Geelong, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Wheatsheaf Hotel, Adelaide, SA

Liv Cartledge
Friday 13th October – Secret Show, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 14th October – Secret Show, Central Coast, NSW

Lizzie Flynn
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, NSW

Lloyd Spiegel
Friday 13th October – The Prince of Wales Hotel, Bunbury, WA
Saturday 14th October – Fremantle Folk Festival, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 15th October – Indi Bar, Scarborough, WA
Tuesday 17th October – The Perth Blues Club, The Charles Hotel, Perth, WA

Lost Picnic
Sunday 15th October – Sydney, NSW

Luke Morris
Friday 18th October – Jive, Adelaide, SA
Friday 20th October – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW

Maggie May
Sunday 15th October – The Thornbury Local, Melbourne, VIC

Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Marysville, VIC

Melbourne Celtic Piping Session
Sunday 15th October – Exford Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Mile Twelve
Wednesday 18th October – Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th October – Java Cafe, Yackendandah, VIC
Friday 20th October – Patchewollock Music Festival, Patchewollock, VIC

Mitch King
Saturday 14th October – Fremantle Folk Festival, Fremantle, WA
Sunday 15th October – Clancy’s Fish Pub, Dunsborough, WA
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Swagger Music Festival, Wandiligong, VIC

Monique Clare
Saturday 14th October – Some Velvet Morning, Melbourne, VIC
Monday 16th October – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Thursday 19th October – The Black Malabar, Newcastle, NSW

Monthly Oldtime Jam
Sunday 15th October – The Brothers Public House, Melbourne, VIC

My Nightingale
Sunday 15th October – Lind Lane Theatre, Nambour, QLD
Friday 20th October – Pop-Up at ANU, Canberra, ACT

Numurkah Foodbowl Festival
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Shepparton, VIC

Out of Abingdon
Friday 20th October – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Out of Nowhere
Saturday 14th October – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

Out On The Weekend
Saturday 14th October – Seaworks, Melbourne, VIC

Paddy McHugh
Saturday 14th October – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW
Friday 20th October – The Wheatsheaf, Adelaide, SA

Parramatta Lanes
Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th October – Parramatta, NSW

Patchewollock Music Festival
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Patchewollock, VIC

Pete Wild
Friday 20th October – Candelo Town Hall, Candelo, NSW

Ralway Bell
Friday 13th October – The Oriental Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
Saturday 14th October – Wingham Akoostik Festival, Wingham, NSW
Sunday 15th October – Union Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th October – Riverside Hotel, Northam, WA

Riley Pearce
Friday 13th October – NightQuarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Saturday 14th October – Bloodhound Bar, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 19th October – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney, NSW
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Swagger Music Festival Wandiligong, VIC

Robbie Fulks w/ Liam Gerner
Friday 13th October – Thornbury Theatre, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC

Rowena Wise w/ Kate Martin, Brendan Welch
Tuesday 17th October – The Gasometer Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Rush Festival
Saturday 14th October – Albert Park, Gympie, QLD

Sam Newton
Friday 13th October – The Townie, Sydney, NSW
Saturday 14th October – Cafe 2340, Tamworth, NSW

Sásta
Saturday 14th October – Studio 188, Brisbane, QLD

Shane Nicholson
Friday 13th October – Trinity Sessions, Adelaide, SA
Saturday 14th October – Song Room, Barossa Regional Gallery, SA
Monday 16th to Monday 23rd October – Rock The Boat Pacific Cruise Pacific

She Folk Songwriters in the Round feat. Leah Senior, Georgia Fields, Anna Cordell, Charm of Finches
Saturday 14th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC

Skyscraper Stan’s Jukebox
Wednesday 18th October – Belleville, Melbourne, VIC

Son Volt
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 18th October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Sparrow-Folk & My Nightingale
Friday 20th October – Pop-Up at ANU, Canberra, ACT

Stillhouse Union
Friday 20th October – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Folk Club, Hornsby, NSW

Swagger Music Festival
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Wandiligong, VIC

The Acfields w/ Looking for Alaska
Friday 13th October – House Concert, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th October – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – Birregurra Festival and Art Show, Birregurra, VIC

The Acoustic Picnic
Friday 13th October – The Music Lounge, Brookvale, NSW

The Austracana Travelling Revue feat. Carpenter Caswell, Smith & Jones, The April Family
Thursday 19th October – Leadbelly, Sydney, NSW

The Band Who Knew Too Much
Saturday 14th October – Open Studio, Melbourne, VIC

The Black Sorrows
Saturday 14th October – Rush Festival, Albert Park, Gympie, QLD
Thursday 19th October – RSL Club Southport, Southport, QLD
Friday 20th October – Imperial Hotel, Eumundi, QLD

The Demon Drink
Friday 13th October – Brooklyn Standard, Brisbane, QLD

The Excellent Smithers
Saturday 14th October – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Grass Is Greener Festival
Saturday 14th October – Cairns Showground, Cairns, QLD

The Lagerphones
Sunday 15th October – Bar Open, Melbourne, VIC

The Legacy of Jesse Younan, 9th Anniversary Concert feat. Mike Elrington, Mandy Connell, Carolyn Oates, Khristian Mizzi, The Great Unknown, Someday June, The Winter Angel, Luke Dylan, Greenhatch, Emad Younan, Girl Friday, Greg Steps, Bob Hutchison, Aaron Pollock, Joe Oppenheimer
Saturday 14th October – Bella Union, Melbourne, VIC

The Lost Backpackers, Bacon & Cabbage
Sunday 15th October – The Grand Hotel – Cockn’Bull, Sydney, NSW

The Northern Folk
Sunday 15th October – Spring Fling St Festival, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 18th October – The Gasometer, Melbourne, VIC
Thursday 19th October – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October – Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, Kangaroo Valley, NSW

The Sadies
Friday 13th October – Old Museum, Brisbane, QLD
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 17th October – Factory Theatre, Sydney, NSW

The Sweet Jelly Rolls
Sunday 15th October – Shady Pines Saloon, Sydney, NSW

The Tambourine Girls, eüsh, Tom Stephens
Thursday 19th October – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

The Teskey Brothers
Sunday 15th October – Lost Picnic, Sydney, NSW

The Turner Brown Band
Friday 13th October – Wollongong Town Hall, Wollongong, NSW
Sunday 15th October – Wingham Akoostik Festival, Wingham, NSW

The Villebillies and Euripi
Saturday 14th October – Gasoline Pony, Sydney, NSW

The Weeping Willows
Saturday 14th October – Tago Mago Club, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Easton
Friday 13th October – Billyroy’s Blues Bar, Bendigo, VIC
Saturday 14th October – Tago Mago Club, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – Rezza House Concerts, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Guy
Sunday 15th October – The Post Office Hotel, Melbourne, VIC

Tim Solly
Saturday 14th October – The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday 14th October – Wesley Anne, Melbourne, VIC

Timberwolf
Thursday 19th October – Secret Location, Melbourne, VIC

TinPan Orange w/ Jess Ribeiro
Friday 20th October – The Workers Club, Geelong, VIC

Tom West
Friday 13th October – Penny Black, Melbourne, VIC
Sunday 15th October – The Bay Pizzaria, Port MacDonnell, SA

Traveller & The Deslondes
Saturday 14th October – Out On The Weekend, Melbourne, VIC
Tuesday 17th October – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Wednesday 18th October – Caravan Music Club, Oakleigh, VIC
Thursday 19th October – Coogee Diggers, Coogee, NSW
Friday 20th October – Marrickville Bowls Club, Sydney, NSW

Tristen Bird
Friday 20th October – Rocksteady Records, Melbourne, VIC

Tullara
Wednesday 18th October – The Front Gallery and Cafe, Canberra, ACT
Friday 20th October – The Record Crate, Sydney, NSW

Twin Peaks
Friday 13th October – Smiths Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Saturday 14th October – Wingham Akoostik Music Festival, Wingham, NSW
Sunday 15th October – Wauchope Community Arts, Wauchope, NSW
Wednesday 18th October – Bellingen Brewery, Bellingen, NSW
Friday 20th October – Eat Street Markets, Brisbane, QLD

Tyler Nakoa
Saturday 14th October – 5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW

Vanishing Shapes Monthly Folk Party feat. Witches Leap
Sunday 15th October – The Commons, Newcastle, NSW

Vardos
Friday 13th October – The Spotted Mallard, Melbourne, VIC

Wingham Akoostik Music Festival
Friday 13th to Sunday 15th October – Wingham, NSW

Z-Stay Delta
Saturday 14th October – The Grace Darling, Melbourne, VIC

Friday Folk Flashback

“Blackwaterside” – Anne Briggs & Bert Jansch

Karine Polwart Announces New Album A Pocket Of Wind Resistance

Karin Polwart
Image Courtesy of Karine Polwart

Celebrated Scottish folk singer-songwriter Karine Polwart has announced plans to release her new album A Pocket Of Wind Resistance on the 17th November.

The album is the musical accompaniment to Polwart’s self-written, directed and performed theatre production Wind Resistance from last year’s Edinburgh Festival and is inspired by her close-hand view of thousands of geese migrating to Fala Flow, a small peat bog by her home.

“It’s a meditation on the ways in which we, as humans, protect and care for one another, and for all life, by stepping up, falling back, labouring and resting in our own fashion,” Karine Polwart explained. “In particular, it’s a hymn to mothers and birthing, to the proffering of sanctuary, to the miracle of medicine, and a reminder, a warning, about the consequences of isolating and forgetting.”

The first single from A Pocket Of Wind Resistance is the spoken word “Labouring And Resting” – take a listen below:

The Best Folky Christmas Songs of 2012

Santa Banjo

Christmas music is folk music. You can’t deny it. So as a result we love Christmas music here at Timber and Steel – both the traditional carols and songs and the wealth of brand new material that is released by our favourite artists every year. 2012 has been somewhat of a bumper year from Christmas songs so rather than bore you with this introduction let’s get right into it shall we?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sufjan Stevens – “Christmas Unicorn”
Sufjan Stevens took his obsession with all things Christmas to a new level this year realeasing the second part of his Christmas boxset Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10. “Christmas Unicorn” was the first new track to emerge from the boxset and we kind of like it – despite being strange in only the way a Sufjan Stevens Christmas song can be.

Rufus Wainwright feat. Sharon Van Etten – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
The Starbuck’s owned label Hear Music this year released the Holiday’s Rule Christmas compilation featuring a number of our favourite artists (The Civil Wars, Calexico, Punch Brothers, The Head & the Heart, Andrew Bird and more) and was produced by The Decemberists’ Chris Funk. Check out this duet between Rufus Wainwright and Sharon Van Etten from the album.

Punch Brothers – “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”
And with a lineup like that we just have to include another track from Holiday’s Rule. Checkout this take on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” from the Punch Brothers.

Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”
Last year Emmy the Great and her real life/musical partner Tim Wheeler (Ash) produced the wonderful This is Christmas album of original indie-Christmas songs. This year they’ve re-released the album on vinyl and have a brand new video for the festive and violent “Zombie Christmas”.

She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Another indie-folk duo milking last year’s Christmas album (in this case A Very She & Him Christmas), She & Him have this season released a brand new animated video for their track “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”. I wonder how many more Christmases they can get out of a single album? Maybe She & Him and Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler could team up to create the ultimate indie-folk Christmas album?

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – “Christmas Eve Can Kill You”
Longtime collaborators Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy released a split single featuring two Everly Brothers’ tracks “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” and “Lovey Kravezit”. The former has this lovely video directed by Lara Miranda.

Roland K Smith & The Sinners – “This Could Be The End (Merry Christmas)”
While this track and video were released last year we’re including it in this year’s list because it appeared on Roland K Smith & The Sinners’ 2012 album Breaking Hearts and Saving Souls. That and you can’t ignore a Christmas song with a bracketed title.

Tom Rosenthal – Christmas Quiet
I have to thank Lachy over at And Pluck Your Strings for bringing this sweet indie-folk Christmas song to my attention (also, you need to be reading his blog – seriously). I don’t know much about Tom Rosenthal but I would have to say this is pretty close to my favourite Christmas song of the year.

Gibson Bull and Carmen – “The Holly and the Ivy”
For the last few years I’ve really enjoyed the annual Christmas compilation album from UK blog For Folk’s Sake. Gibson Bull is an artist that For Folk’s Sake have been pushing fairly heavily this year – and when you hear his version of “The Holly and the Ivy” with Carmen from the compilation you’ll see why.

Dropkick Murphys – “The Season’s Upon Us”
For many the Christmas season is just as much about dysfunction as it is about family and coming together. And who better to capture that in song than folk-punks Dropkick Murphys.

Huey and the New Yorkers – “Christmas By The Side Of The Road”
Huey and the New Yorkers may be the new project from Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan but don’t be fooled – this isn’t “Scoobie Snacks”. “Christmas By The Side Of The Road” is a wonderful piece of country Christmas goodness and it’s raising money for veterans charity Help For Heroes. To purchase the single head to the officiel Huey and the New Yorkers web site.

Packwood, Jack Carty, Achoo! Bless You, Fanny Lumsden and Rosie Catalano – “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)”
Another charity single, this one a little more local, “Heading Home (It’s Christmas Time)” was put together by some of Timber and Steel’s favourite musicians and raises money for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy. To pick up the track head to the bandcamp page here.

Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo – “Christmas Time Is Here”
Our favourite ex-pat Aussie musician living in the UK, Emily Barker recorded her own version of “Christmas Time Is Here”, originally the 1965 Christmas episode of Charlie Brown. Backing vocals for the track are care of Rumer, Ren Harvieu and Kristina Train.

Friend of all the World – “The Huron Carol”
Canadian’s Friend of all the World have this year released their second Christmas themed EP, cleverly titled Christmas Time – Volume 2. “The Huron Carol” has a real solemn feel to it but I really like it – I would file this along side the likes of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” or “Dives and Lazarus”.

Leftover Cuties – “Winter Wonderland”
Taken from their EP Christmas Time Is Here, Leftover Cuties have infused a heavy dose of New Orleans into their up tempo version of “Winter Wonderland”. If this doesn’t get you up and dancing on Christmas day nothing will!

Terry Emm – “Gently”
There’s something really sweet about UK singer-songwriter Terry Emm. He reminds me a a little of The Staves or The Leisure Society and his Christmas track, “Gently”, is just beautiful.

Karine Polwart – “Merry Xmas Everybody”
Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart may not have featured too heavily on Timber and Steel this year but 2012 has been absolutely blinding year, following the release of her album Traces, that’s culminated in nominations in the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Album of the Year, Folk Singer of the Year and Best Original Song. To celebrate the year Polwart has released a folky version of Slade’s infamous tune “Merry Xmas Everybody”.

Grant Arthur – “Santa Went Down To Georgia”
Choosing just one track from Grant Arthur’s folky Christmas album A Very Grant Arthur Christmas proved tricky but we went with “Santa Went Down To Georgia” due to its obvious connection to the classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Enjoy!

Feldspar – “In the Bleak Midwinter”
We had to finish up with one more track from For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas 2012, this time from London five-piece Feldspar and their track “In the Bleak Midwinter”.

%d bloggers like this: